Funding cuts will not change Planned Parenthood’s services | ParkRecord.com

Funding cuts will not change Planned Parenthood’s services

Sarah Moffitt, The Park Record

Planned Parenthood of Utah will continue to provide all of its services including breast exams despite a recent announcement by the Susan G. Komen Foundation that they will no longer be funding the organization.

The cuts by the Komen foundation sparked national attention, with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards releasing a statement alleging the foundation "succumbed to political pressure." In a YouTube video, Susan G. Komen Foundation Founder and CEO Nancy Brinker said the foundation is changing its grant policies to reinforce and deliver the most impact to women’s health.

The last grant the Komen Foundation gave Planned Parenthood of Utah was for $11,000 a few years ago, according to Planned Parenthood Association of Utah C.E.O. Karrie Galloway.

"It was a large sum of money and it lasted us a long time," Galloway said. "When we re-applied for the grant a few months ago it was denied so we have had to find different ways to buy educational materials on breast health for the women that we serve."

Galloway added that with a portion of the $11,000 grant, Planned Parenthood bought instructional shower cards so women would know how to do a breast exam at home.

"If young women do not know what to look for then they may not catch health problems as they age," she said. "When we were denied the funding, we were already aware of unrest and knew we could not just stop providing our services. Nothing has changed with what we provide, just how we pay for it."

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Last year, Utah Planned Parenthood clinics conducted over 8,300 breast exams, found complications in 125 women and referred 616 women over the age of 40 for mammograms.

"Seventy-two percent of the women we serve are below the poverty line," Galloway said. "We are not talking about women who have a doctor and insurance here. Our help is needed to make sure these women can get a mammogram and are healthy."

Galloway called the split between Komen and Planned Parenthood "disappointing."

"Although it was not a large amount of money that Utah received from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, I was really proud of the partnership between the two," she said. "We both cared about women’s health care and were not willing to make it the political football it has now become. We really put the money to good use and I was bummed when they did not renew our grant request."

Debbie Mintowt, executive director of the Susan G. Komen Utah affiliate, declined to speak about the funding cuts and their impact on local services.

Planned Parenthood clinics in Utah continue to administer breast exams as part of a woman’s yearly exam and, according to Galloway, will not stop providing breast exams no matter what.

Park City’s Planned Parenthood Clinic served 3,547 people in 2011 including exams, pregnancy and STD tests and yearly check-ups, according to Galloway. The clinic is located at 1670 Bonanza Drive and is open on Monday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

As of Friday morning, the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced it would be reconsidering its decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and, according to the Susan G. Komen website, Brinker said the funding cuts had been "deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends."